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SARTA announces Elly Award nominations

The Davis Musical Theatre Company’s production of “Hairspray” received 10 nominations at SARTA’s Elly Award nomination party.

Youth was served Sunday evening when the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance announced its 2013 Elly Award nominations during an informal reception at West Sacramento’s Black Box Theatre.

This year, of the 82 stage companies participating in Sacramento’s community theater version of the Tony Awards, the Top 7 earned their status on the strength of youth programs. They are: Sutter Street Theatre (44 overall; 39 youth nominations; five adult nominations); Woodland Opera House (29 overall; 20 youth nominations; nine adult nominations); Sheldon High School (24 overall – all youth nominations); St. Francis High School (21 overall – all youth nominations); El Dorado High School (20 overall – all youth nominations); Runaway Stage Productions (19 overall; 18 youth nominations; one adult nomination); The Acting Company (17 overall; 10 youth nominations; seven adult nominations).

And though the Ellys – named for late Sacramento Bee publisher (and patron of the arts) Eleanor McClatchy – began as a way of recognizing local theater, the five adult theater productions claiming the most nominations for 2013 were all mounted outside of the River City.

Stockton Civic Theatre garnered 11 nominations for "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" as did Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (Grass Valley) for "Journey to the West," Davis Musical Theatre Company netted 10 nominations for its production of "Hairspray" as did San Joaquin Delta College (Stockton) for "A Lie of the Mind," and Woodland Opera House received nine noms for "The Drowsy Chaperone."

Similarly, the majority of the Top 6 youth production nominees were staged by schools/companies outside of Sacramento’s city limits. They are: "Into the Woods" (18 noms; St. Francis High School, Sacramento); "Peter Pan" (15 noms; Woodland Opera House); "Seussical" (14 noms; Flying Monkey Productions, Sacramento); "The Miser, Paris Texas" (14 noms; Sheldon High School, Elk Grove); "13" (12 noms; Stand Out Talent, Roseville); "Cats" (12 noms; El Dorado High School, Placerville).

More than 450 productions were submitted for this year’s 31st annual awards, which will be announced during two fall ceremonies. The Youth Elly Award event is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at Roseville Theatre Arts Academy, and the Adult Elly Awards party is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Red Lion Woodlake Hotel and Conference Center.

Nominations are divided in three main categories: "adult" productions; "education" or school-based productions; and "young people’s" productions (youth productions unaffiliated with any one particular public or private school.

Adult productions are further divided into four subcategories: comedy; drama; musical; and original works.

Education and young people’s productions are segmented into two subcategories: plays and musicals.

All categories feature nominations that include lead and supporting actor and actress, director, costume designer, lighting designer, set designer, musical director, choreographer, as well as overall production.

In the adult category for lead actor (comedy), nominees are: Wayne Cook ("Learning Spanish"; California Stage); Michael Baranowski ("Journey to the West"; Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra); Trevor Wade ("The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged, Revised"; LeGacy Productions); Allen Pontes ("Moon Over Buffalo"; Sutter Street Theatre); Keith Gagnon ("A Christmas Story"; The Acting Company).

Lead actress (comedy) nominees are: Kim Wellman ("Journey to the West"; Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra); Trish Adair ("Journey to the West"; Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra); Scarlet O’Connor ("Moving Mountains"; EMH Productions); Deborah Shalhoub ("Kitchen Witches"; Ovation Stage); Michele Koehler ("Kitchen Witches"; Ovation Stage).

Lead actor (drama) nominees are: Eason Donner ("The Road to Nirvana"; Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento); Ed Claudio ("The Sunset Limited"; Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento); James Wheatley ("The Sunset Limited"; Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento); Brian Harrower ("New Jerusalem"; Big Idea Theatre); Richard Winters ("Speed the Plow"; Synthetic Unlimited).

Lead actress (drama) nominees are: Janis Stevens ("The Year of Magical Thinking"; California Stage); May Thompson ("Bourbon at the Border"; Celebration Arts); Talia Vlaovich ("The Hiding Place"; One Way Productions); Analise Langford-Clark ("The Mousetrap"; Sutter Street Theatre); Grace Fae ("Kingdom of Earth"; Synthetic Unlimited).

Lead actor (musical) nominees are: Tevye Ditter ("Urinetown"; Davis Musical Theatre Company); Joseph Boyette ("Cabaret"; Green Valley Theatre Company); Kevin Costello ("Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Stockton Civic Theatre); Colby Salmon ("The Drowsy Chaperone"; Woodland Opera House); Stuart Eldridge ("The Drowsy Chaperone"; Woodland Opera House).

Lead actress (musical) nominees are: Brianne Hidden ("Sweeney Todd"; American River College Theatre); Laura Woodruff ("Oklahoma!"; Davis Musical Theatre Company); Lauren Ettonsohn ("Blood Brothers"; Green Valley Theatre Company); Andrea St. Clair ("9 to 5"; Runaway Stage Productions); Randy Linee ("Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Stockton Civic Theatre).

For a complete list of this year’s Elly Award nominees, see www.sarta.com.

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